Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Hunting Trip to Misery Junction

    I had an enjoyable weekend deer hunting with my younger brother, Mike, two of his sons, Gavin and Aaron, and Gavin's son Michael.  We went to a new location with the most colorful place names. We camped near Misery Junction, not far to the north from Mount Horrible.  To get there we had to pass "Hard to Get To" and the turnoff to the Devil's Tail Bone.  In spite of all of the negativity with the names, it was actually a fairly lovely location with wonderful vistas.  I suspect the names originated with people who had to traverse that area with wagons or had to make their own roads.  Misery Junction is the site of an old depression era Civilian Conservation Corps work camp. They shipped about 200 young men from New York off to the wilds of southeastern Washington State in order for them to build roads for the U.S. Forest Service. Maybe the negative place names stemmed from homesick city boys doing hard labor in the wilderness.

Gavin driving in our fruitless search for a legal target

   We found a nice campsite, sheltered from the wind about a quarter mile south of Misery Junction, the site of the depression era CCC Camp. My brother has a nice 12x14 wall tent which makes for comfortable camping. Its nice to have a tent with lots of head room.  The weather was fairly nice, other than a bit of rain on Saturday.  We've used a sheepherder stove to warm the tent when elk hunting, but it wasn't necessary for this trip.  We ate well and enjoyed each other's company.  I fixed my favorite sour dough pancakes one morning and made biscuits one evening.  We ate the traditional stroganoff and chili (not at the same time) and Gavin brought some steaks.  Everything went pretty well with the exception of the fact that we never saw much of anything legal to shoot.  The terrain in this vicinity is pretty steep which severely limited appropriate places to hunt.  If a deer isn't located in a place from which it is practical to retrieve the carcass there is no point to shooting it.  This was the first time we had hunted in this location, about 25 miles south of Pomeroy, in far southeastern Washington State.  While I had a very enjoyable trip, I will definitely chose a different location next year.  Most of the terrain was simply too steep. The photo below was taken as we were driving north towards Pomeroy and the terrain was becoming less vertical.

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